By Allan Gillis
This is the first entry with this title. I think I am turning into an old curmudgeon (at least that is what the lovely and gracious Mrs. Gillis tells me often!). Many times I find myself snickering quietly to myself or bickering to whoever is my companion at the moment of the assault on my “cultural sensitivities”…whether it be at a public event, a commercial heard on the radio, the lead for a story on my wife’s New York Times left on the table or the way some kids dress or speak in public. This bickering can often lead to sin on my part – simply because I’m NOT feeling or being “charitable” at the time. But, often it is the little things that really irk me. For instance; I can’t stand being at a cash register and being told as I’m having my change handed to me to “have a good one”. “Have a good WHAT!?!” Have a good day?, have a good heart attack?, have a good life? Where did this banality come from? It is so pervasive…and all of a sudden too! It seems our current public lexicon is laced throughout with many of these trite and vapid cultural talismans. I think the language (as well as dress) speaks so much about the state of the kulturkampf. I was at the supermarket last evening and I was so tempted to snap at this twenty-something kid as he assaulted me with his “have a good one” – “have a good what?”. I would have probably seemed hostile. I might have sounded hostile (or like a grumpy old man) as I said it – so I didn’t. But, what added insult to injury – and further tempted me to “uncharitable-ness” was his stupid big buttons in both earlobes! I’ll rail about THAT another time! Pray for me will ya?